Good Night And Good Luck Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

Good Night, and Good Luck
The word “McCarthyism” has entered America’s vocabulary to define the practice to question one’s patriotism while making unsupported accusations of disloyalty without the proper evidence. During the anticommunist crusade that took place throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, the political term became very popular after a Senator from Wisconsin; Joseph R. McCarthy went on an anti-communist witch-hunt. Senator McCarthy made a public accusation that more than 200 communist had infiltrated the U.S. government, “This is glaringly true in the State Department. There the right young men who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are the ones who have been worst… In my ...view middle of the document...

Murrow was never fazed or perplexed by the man who fabricated an atmosphere of fear amongst those who spoke against him. One of the main civil liberties that the society shunned away from due to McCarthyism was the freedom of speech. The idea of freedom of speech was presented throughout the film. Before Murrow, nobody had the courage to speak out against McCarthy. For those who did speak against McCarthy, they were accused of being a communist and then trialed leading to a life of misery. A prime example of one of McCarthy’s corrupt actions occurred when American Air Force lieutenant by the name of Milo Radulovich was kicked out of service as a security risk due to McCarthy’s unproven charges that he was a Communist agent. Although Radulovich was only “guilty by association”, all of his information was sealed in an envelope that no one could see, reported by Murrow himself “We are unable to judge the charges against the lieutenant’s father or sister because neither we, nor you, nor they, nor the lawyers, nor the lieutenant know what was contained in the Manila envelop.” (0:20:46) The action committed by McCarthy was the stepping-stone for Murrow and his team to take on the leader of the anti-Communist witch-hunt. Murrow was never afraid of speaking about controversial topics on his show, but calling McCarthy’s actions out on television and radio broadcast was the most controversial. He was never asked to take on a report about McCarthy but he felt it was necessary to defeat him and to end the blacklisting that destroyed many people’s careers. There were doubts leading into the live broadcast, but the idea and the right of freedom of speech had been reinvigorated to those who tuned in. The point that came across the nation was to not to live in silence or fear and for those who disagree to use their freedom of speech to make a change for the better of the society, “ We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, associate, to speak, and to defend the causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent or for those who approve.” (00:42:48) At the time, “See It Now” was the most exciting thing that ever happened to television. It opened people’s mind and ears. The responsibility of the media played a vital role in exercising the freedom of speech. Media was able to give hope to those who were in fear. It gave light to those who had been accused of Communism. Murrow and CBS opened the door for others to fight against McCarthyism.
Loyalty and disloyalty were the big topics throughout the McCarthyism era. As I stated in the beginning of the essay, McCarthyism influenced public accusation of disloyalty to one’s country, which in turn meant not having any patriotism. When Senator McCarthy first...

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